Skip to main content

Full text of "Mathura A District Memoir"

See other formats

324                                    ETYMOLOGY  OF  LOCAL NAMES.
The foregoing considerations will,  I trust, be accepted as sufficiently
demonstrating the reasonableness of my general position that local names in
Upper India are, as a rale, of no very remote antiquity, and are primd fade
referable to Sanskrit and Hindi rather than to any other language. Their
formation has certainly "been regulated by the same principles that we see
underlying the local nomenclature of other civilized countries, and we may
therefore expect to find them falling into three main groups, as follows :
I.    Names compounded with an affix denoting place.
II.    Barnes compounded with an affix denoting possession.
III.    A more indefinite class, including all names without any affix at all;
such words being for the most part either the name of the founder, or an
epithet descriptive of some striking local feature.
Running the eye over the list cf villages in the Mathura district, we can
at a glance detect abundant illustrations of each of these three classes. Thus
under Class I. come such names as Ntiuak-pur, Pati-pura, Bich-puri, where the
founder's name is combined with the local affix pur, pura, or puri, signifying
So also, Nau-gama, Uncha-ganw, Badan-garh, Chamar-garhi, Rup-
ty Pal-khem, Bonds-ban, Ahalya-ganj, Radha-kund, Mangal-khoh, Mall-
sarai, and Nainu-pattL In all these instances the local affix is easy to be
recognized as also the word to which it is attached.
Of Class II. the illustrations are not quite so obvious and will mostly require
special elucidation ; but some are self-evident, as for example Bkure-ka,
where the affix is the ordinary sign of the genitive case ; Haue-ra, where it is
the Marwari form of the same ; and Pipal-wara, where it represents the fami-
liar mild.
Under Class IIL come first such names as Stiraj, Misri, and Grajus -which
are known, to have been borne by the founders ; and under the second sub-divi-
eion, Gobardhan,  productive in cattle ;* Sanket? c a place of assignation ;s
K"hor? i an opening between the hills;' Basai?  a colony;' and Pnra?  a town/
indicative of a period when towns were scarce ; with many others of similar
Looking first for names that may be inclnded under Class I., we find that
by far the most numerous variety are those compounded with the affix pur.
This might; be expected, for precisely the same reason that 4 ton* is the most
common local ending In England, But we certainly should not expect to find
so large a proportion unmistakably modem, with the former part of the com-
pound commemorating either a Muhammadan or a Hindu with a Persian name,